Redditch residents have lost out on £235 each, claimed shock figures released this week.
Research revealed by SIGOMA, a campaigning network of urban local authorities which is part of the Local Government Association, showed residents have been out of pocket since 2010, due to cuts in funding by central government to local authorities.
Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government Jon Trickett MP visited Redditch Borough Council on Wednesday, April 6 to learn about the impact government cuts were having at both county and district level on local residents.
He was also interested to see how Labour-run Redditch Borough Council was innovating to help invest in the local economy, despite the cuts.
The Labour-run council, working in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and other organisations, has recently helped secure vital funding for MGTS (Midland Group Training Services) that will allow them to expand and double the amount of apprentices they can take on.
Speaking about his visit to Redditch and MGTS, Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government, said: "It’s despicable that people in Redditch have been losing out to the tune of £235 each since 2010.
"Despite suffering heavy cuts Labour-run Redditch Borough Council has worked incredibly hard to drive forwards inward investment in skills and training.
"As I saw today at the MGTS – giving young people the vital skills and experience to be able to enter the workplace is absolutely crucial to economic development.
"The funding that Cllr Hartnett has helped secure – and the vital partnership work with the LEPs - will allow MGTS to expand their facilities and to take on more apprentices in the near future.
"It’s clear a Labour-run council has made a big difference here in Redditch, despite the extremely difficult circumstances."
" Council leader Bill Hartnett said: "As Leader of the Labour group it was great to welcome Jon to Redditch to visit MGST.
"We met and spoke with male and female apprentices. Skills and good well paid jobs are a top priority for Labour here in Redditch.
"I have been working with MGST for some time to try and get bigger and better training facilities in Redditch for an engineering skills academy in Redditch.
"Grant funding applications are progressing through both the Worcestershire LEP and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP to hopefully achieve this.
"I think the residents of Redditch will be outraged to hear that since 2010 they have each lost out £235 due to Government cuts to local councils, the need clearly has not gone away but most of the Government funding has."
This report originally appeared in the Redditch Advertiser on-line on the 8th April.